Perhaps Andrew Benintendi’s new hope will materialize into success in 2021.
MLB.com named the Boston Red Sox left fielder the team’s player who is “most thankful for the new year” Wednesday. After struggling in 2019, Benintendi plunged to the nadir of his professional career in 2020 before a rib injury prematurely ended his season. Boston’s long offseason, combined with the change of calendar year and re-hired Red Sox manager Alex Cora give offer Benintendi the chance to resurrect his fortunes, according to MLB.com.
“The left fielder was on top of the world in October 2018, making two incredible postseason catches that will live on in Red Sox lore. But over the past two years, not much has gone right for Benintendi, particularly offensively,” MLB.com wrote. “Nobody looks forward to the coming season more than Benintendi, who had a nightmarish slump to start the ‘20 season (4-for-39, one extra-base hit) and had to live with those numbers as his final stat line due to a strained right ribcage injury that ended his season on Aug. 11. In his last 580 at-bats dating back to the start of the ‘19 season, Benintendi has a disappointing hitting line of .255/.341/.410 with 13 homers and 69 RBIs.
“At 26 years old and gifted with a sweet swing, it’s hard to believe Benintendi won’t bounce back. The return of Alex Cora should help, as one of the manager’s strengths is getting the most out of young players.”
Cora suggested last month Benintendi’s attempt to become more of a power hitter factored into his struggles. If Benintendi makes the adjustments Cora recommends, he might return to the star trajectory he seemed to be on just two years ago.